I came across this story while perusing MSNBC.com about a convicted killer who has chosen to be executed by a firing squad rather than by lethal injection on June 18, 2010. Ronnie Lee Gardner, 49, was given the choice of being killed by lethal injection or shot by a five-man team of executioners firing from a set of matched rifles, an Old West-style of justice.
Gardner, 49, was sentenced to death for killing an attorney 25 years ago during a failed escape attempt and shootout.
Of the 35 states with the death penalty on the books, Utah is the only one to use the firing squad as a method of execution since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.
I suppose with the number of botched lethal injection attempts over the years this guy figures that the bullet is the least fool proof. But then I don't know.
Should he have been given the choice? Is the firing squad too much a relic from days gone by that should be retired like the guillotine? Is there a better idea?